NGC 404 – The Ghost of Mirach

Observation Notes:

What a beautiful sight! The soft, round galaxy shared the view with the brilliant, citrusy orange Mirach. The galaxy itself had a gradual condensation toward the center. Seeing was too soft to see whether the core was stellar though. It appeared to be about 1.5 – 2 arc minutes in diameter. Mirach’s blazing orange light exploded with a glow about three times the apparent diameter of the galaxy.

This was first light for the Pentax XW 10 eyepiece I received last Thursday. The view was fantastic, even with poor seeing. Diffraction patterns were beautiful to observe, and contrast was excellent. Even with Mirach in the field, NGC 404 was not a challenge to see at both 120X and 240X (with the barlow).

Object Information:

NGC 404 was discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in 1784. It is also cataloged as: UGC 718, MCG+06-03-018, PGC 4126, H II-224, h 89, GC 218, CGCG 520.020, LGG 011-009

Subject NGC 404
Classification* Galaxy (SA(s)0)
Position* Andromeda [RA: 01:09:26.9 / Dec: +35:43:04]
Size* 3.5′ x 3.5′
Brightness* 10.2 vMag (11.2 bMag)
Date/Time NOV 24, 2008 – 01:00 AM MST (NOV 24, 2008 – 8:00 UT)
Observing Loc. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA – Home
Instrument Orion SkyQuest XT8 (203 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag. Pentax XW 10 + 2X Barlow (240X)
Conditions Clear, calm, cold
Seeing 3/10 Pickering
Transparency ~ Mag 5.8 NELM

2 Replies to “NGC 404 – The Ghost of Mirach”

  1. Thanks Ewan! I was really hoping I could capture some semblance of how stunning the view was. Nothing beats the live view of course 🙂
    Keep up the great work on the sketches at your site as well. I’ve really been enjoying them.

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